Skip to content

Road Trip Day 1: Flashback behind Bars

Alarm went off at 6:30am- I took a deep breath and mentally prepared myself for the 10 hour haul to Las Cruces, New
Mexico.  I figure it wouldn’t be too bad as my brother and I would switch every couple of hours of driving.  And I was pretty excited with the “research vehicle” we got hooked up with.  I was just going to get an economy car, but when obtaining my car yesterday they said they had a vehicle that needed to be returned back to California and it would be over $100 off if I took that one.  Of course I couldn’t say no, and it ended up being a very nice mustang!  I figure the ride back was going to be fun, but I also thought in the back of my head, “Crap- we are going to be easy targets for the Texas police because of the California license plate!”  There was a reason behind this worry…

Over 10 years ago two friends of mine and I decided to take a road trip during Spring Break to New Orleans.  We were under 21, but heard you could have a great time in New Orleans as a college kid.  So, we set off to New Orleans and it was a blast!  On our way back to California, we decided to do an all night drive- taking turns of course.  It was my turn to drive and I believe it was about midnight or so (I should mention we were driving my friends’ car).  If you ever have driven through Texas, you know there are speed limits up to 75 and 80 mph.  I do remember I was driving about 85 mph and compared to some of the other trucks and cars on the road, I was going slow.  We were laughing and having a good time and then I saw those infamous blue and red lights go off behind me.  I couldn’t believe it as there were trucks and cars zooming by me!  I pulled over and did the routine.  I figure we be on our way off soon, me working extra hours at the Coffee Bean to pay for the ticket, but the cop was taking a long time.  He came back and asked who owned the car.  My friend gave him the registration of the car- the cop goes back.  Next thing you know the cop is telling me I need to go to the police station with him.  Apparently he thought my license and my friend’s registration was fake!!!!  And if I didn’t comply “there were going to be problems.”  Long story short, next thing you know I’m behind bars for 8 hours as the sheriff and deputy (who were uncle and nephew in this little town) came up with the story that my friends and I stole the car in California, went down to Mexico, and were driving back to the States through Texas to sell the vehicle.  They couldn’t believe that my friends and I were on Spring Break as “the Texas schools are not on Spring Break so how can you be?”  I told them to go on UCSB’s website, but they couldn’t believe that I was in school in a US school as I was obviously an illegal.  For those that know me, I have the most typical American accent and I am 3rd generation.  I kept talking to them, but they didn’t believe- until my friend’s insurance company finally called them, and my friend’s dad called them… and a couple of angry parents called them.  They knew they were in trouble.  I of course have no record on me as they were in big time fault for false accusations.  But I learned an important lesson that day “DON’T SPEED IN TEXAS!!!!”

Don’t speed in Texas- something I forgot to tell my brother today as we headed out.  I had a feeling… then I saw the infamous red and blue lights go.  Crap… not again!!!!  The officer was pretty stern at first.  He went to his car, came back and asked what we were doing.  I explained to him, “I’m a graduate student transporting specimens from Texas to UCLA….”  I don’t know what it was but talking to him, he ended up just giving my brother a warning!!!  We soon continued our trek back to LA, going a little slower then the speed limit.

Now we are taking it easy in Las Cruces, Mexico.  Recharging for the drive to Phoenix.  All I know is I don’t have a problem messing with Texas, just don’t speed in Texas!!!  All I know is looking back at that incident I laugh as that is all I can do now- make it into one of the funny moments in my life.  Just like my brother and I playing dress up at one of the gas stations…   

Leave a Comment